The badass unicorn and its mythology: Horn of plenty | The Economist
Geege Schuman stashed this in ART
“Search for the Unicorn”, an engaging and instructive new exhibition at the Metropolitan’s Cloisters annexe, surveys the long history of ideas about this beautiful creature. It is a fitting subject to mark the museum’s 75th anniversary. The building, most of its contents, its 56-acre (23-hectare) park overlooking the Hudson River and even the bucolic view across to the wooded Palisades were all given to the Metropolitan Museum by John D. Rockefeller. So too was the Cloisters’ most famous artwork and his most treasured possession, a seven-panel tapestry from around 1500, “The Hunt of the Unicorn”.
Some 40 fantastical objects take the visitor on a tour of Christian and Jewish, Western and Eastern, Medieval and Renaissance conceptions of the unicorn. A luxuriously painted page from an early 14th-century copy of the Persian “Book of Kings”, the Shahnama, shows Iskandar (Alexander the Great) battling with a tawny unicorn and winning. A page from a European natural history depicts a shaggy, lumbering beast; in another such book he is elegant and sleek.
The most moving work on view is “The Unicorn in Captivity” (pictured), a tapestry from the Rockefeller series. A unicorn rests inside a wooden enclosure. Thousands of flowers cover the ground. A gold chain links his collar to the trunk of a pomegranate tree (a symbol of fertility). Red juice drips onto the unicorn’s pure white coat. The wild creature has surrendered himself to love. This is a sensual and tender image.
The remaining tapestries, in a room nearby, tell a different story—about aggression, betrayal and death.
(You gotta keep'm separated)
Heh heh, heh heh!!